Back in high school, and then in college, I took German for my foreign language requirement. I have no idea why I did this except that everybody else I knew was taking French or Spanish, so in a pinch I could just ask one of them to translate whatever it was what needed translatin'. German's a lovely language...at least in the south of Germany and in Bavaria it is...and the fact that my Deutsch is atrophied like Rod Stewart's talent is a source of nagging regret.
Thus I have undertaken what may be the most pointless task I've ever set for myself: translating a German pulp/crime novel. Why? Because it's there. Also, I figured of the German language novels I found at Acres of Books that it was likely to have the most simple grammar and vocabulary, while also probably being full of nifty slang and idioms.
Also, we don't have cable.
Anyways, I'll be translating Edgar Wallace's Das Verrätertor. I'm currently in the process of figuring out what's a reasonable goal to translate per week. So far I've got the title ("The Traitor's Gate," which was printed in English on the title page) and the back text, which took me an hour, which is really, really sad.
I give you, for your amusement, my translation of the back jacket copy:
"The royalty of Kishlastan is accustomed to possessing all that they desire. Now they want the British crown jewels.
But the costly jewels lie - under heavy guard - in London Tower!
However: One day, the treasury is empty. . ."
Intrigue! Spies! Verbs at the ends of sentences for 200 pages!